Fear Not.

Glenn's sayings;

"Fear him who has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell!" (Matthew 10:28)

This verse is quoted as a proof text by people promoting the hell damnation theory and the terror of God in His sending people to suffer in hell for eternity. But is that the context of the verse...maybe...if it is wrenched from its context.

This verse when quoted to justify a angry, terrorizing, loveless, retributive God is the same as quoting what the friends of Job said about God without providing the fact that later on God said that they were wrong in what they said about Him. If you consider the context of this chapter in Matthew, you will find that it is not that God sends people to eternal punishment in hell fire therefore, we should be afraid of Him.

Notice that Jesus tells His disciples to go and proclaim the kingdom of God, the coming of which has the effects of restoring people...did you get that, RESTORING people, not DESTROYING people..."As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand!' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons." (Matthew 10:7-8) That's what the gospel of the kingdom is about, restoring and reconciling people...not banishing them to punishment of eternal suffering in hell.

Since God's kingdom is a kingdom of restoration and peace, it doesn't come by violent means, so Jesus tells his followers he is sending them out as sheep among wolves. Wolves tear sheep to shreds. The kingdom of the religious world was established on violence, deceit and lies. But the kingdom of God is established on martyrdom, because it is come to plant the seed of forgiveness and peace which will eventually be like leaven that works all through the dough. Jesus doesn't tell them to fight. He tells them they will be flogged and persecuted in both the political and religious centers, and that they will stand before the powers of the world and declare in the power of the Spirit the true kingdom of God. Jesus tells them they will be put to death, but it's okay, this is how they treated him.

Then he tells them "Do not fear." Do not fear these people that can kill you. Then comes the dreadful verse.

"Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear the One who has power to destroy both soul and body in gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So fear not; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:28-31)

Wait a second, the verse didn't end at fear? Nope. Notice how Jesus goes from one extreme to the other. First, fear him who has power to destroy you in gehenna (the valley of hinnom), and second, he is a Father who loves and protects every hair on your head, so don't fear. In other words, all these other guys may be able to kill your body, but there is only one who has power to destroy your actual person, and he would never dream of doing such a thing because he is your loving Father who cares for even the birds.

Jesus concludes with "Fear not" and affirming our immeasurable worth beyond that of birds. The words of Jesus..."Fear not"...means there is nothing to be afraid of.

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